Neil Ruddock

So far this transfer window has appeared to be a good one. Some really astute, quality signings it would seem. Finally we seem to be assembling a squad of real quality and real depth. Add having a great manager into the mix and committed owners (well done FSG for backing Jurgen Klopp), a brilliant stadium, great facilities and off the pitch experience and quality and it seems that we are putting together one incredible team. On and off the pitch. Some fans are still of the opinion that we need another signing or two. One area of concern for some is at centre-back. Various names have been bandied about. Talking of centre halves though, do you remember when we signed Neil Ruddock?

Neil Ruddock

Neil Ruddock
Neil Ruddock – Signed for Liverpool on this day 22nd July 1993

On this day 22nd July 1993 we signed Neil Ruddock – aka Neil “Razor” Ruddock. Ruddock cost us £2.5m from Tottenham. I think it’s fair to say that Ruddock was tough, uncompromising and he looked an imposing figure on the pitch. Bill Shankly may have called him a colossus. But sorry “Razor” that’s where the comparisons with Ron Yeats ends.

His no-nonsense style made him a bit of a Marmite figure. You either loved him or hated him. To be fair though Neil Ruddock wasn’t just brawn and muscle. He could play a bit at times as well. He was well capable of pinging 40 yards plus balls out from defence with great accuracy.

One of the good things about Ruddock was that he genuinely seemed to love his time at Anfield. A larger than life character (even more so now!!) to say the least, he always gave 100% plus.

Manchester United – January 1994

He also chipped in with a few goals as well. Probably his most important in a red shirt was against Manchester United in January 1994. What a game that was. A miserable mid week, winter’s night saw us 3-0 after only 22 or 23 minutes. Game all over many thought. Not so. Liverpool staged an incredible comeback to draw level at 3-3.

I remember the game so well. When it was 3-3 a fella behind me in the Kop was praying for the final whistle. Most of us others were of the opposite mind. We felt that they were there for the taking. Even so, points shared in a real end to end, open, flowing encounter. You can see the highlights from this incredible game below. Neil Ruddock’s finest hour? I’ll let you decide.

A friend of mine was a chauffeur driver back in the 90’s and he regularly chauffeured Liverpool players around. Neil Ruddock was one he often ferried around. By all accounts, Razor was a really top bloke and he really did love life at Liverpool.

Pastures New

In all, Neil Ruddock played 152 times for Liverpool, scoring 12 goals. For a fair amount of his spell at Liverpool, he played in a back three alongside Phil Babb and John Scales. He eventually returned to London. Initially he went out to QPR on loan, before signing permanently for West Ham in 1998.

Thanks for the memories Razor. And a very special thanks for your equaliser on that cold January night in 1994.

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